Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Music Helps Recovering Stroke Patients

I posted this in my music news blog, and I thought it might also interest those of you who read this blog:

A new study shows that listening to music while recovering from a stroke can help patients recover their cognitive abilities and maintain better mood.

The study participants were 60 individuals who had recently suffered from a middle cerebral artery stroke in either the right or left side of the brain. Thirty patients listened to audio books or to their favorite music every day during recovery while the remaining 30 patients did not listen to music or audio books. All stroke patients also took part in a standard rehabilitation program.

The researchers discovered after three months 18% of stroke patients who listened to audio books showed a better verbal memory, 29% of patients who listened to neither audio books nor music showed improved verbal memory, and 60% of patients who listened to music showed improved verbal memory.

The researchers also discovered stroke patients who listened to their favorite music every day showed an increased ability to focus and maintained better moods than those who did not listen to music.

The researchers are not sure why music improved verbal memory and attention. Further studies should be focused on discovering the effect music has on the brain in recovering stroke patients.

This study was published in the journal Brain.

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